Earlier this month we took a brief look at how millennials are changing the healthcare workforce and what millennial physicians are looking for in their employers. But what about the nature of the work itself? How are millennials shaping the way healthcare is carried out on a day-to-day basis? Here is a look at how they are spurring change in the healthcare industry itself.
They want faster care.
Millennials are often referred to as the “drive-through generation.” And when you consider that millennials are really the first generation raised on internet technology and the ability to find information from virtually anywhere and everywhere, it isn’t hard to imagine where that nickname comes from. Because of the modern conveniences and efficiencies that millennials have grown accustomed to, they have come to expect the same fast and efficient service from healthcare providers; and where there isn’t fast and efficient healthcare, they are going to rally for it.
They take control of their care.
Today, a variety of factors are coming together to encourage millennials to take control of their own healthcare—the Affordable Care Act, an increased number of self-help resources, and rising costs of healthcare, just to name a few. Millennials are more likely than any other generation to turn to online resources about non-urgent health issues before consulting a doctor. They also happen to be about twice as likely to follow advice given on the internet and social media.
They avoid seeing a doctor when they can.
Millennials may be taking control of their own healthcare, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t trust doctors; in fact, they still consider doctors to be their most trusted resources for healthcare information. But it does mean that they tend to avoid consulting with physicians when they can. Lack of convenience, long wait times, and most of all, high costs, are all contributing factors to this phenomenon.
They seek references online.
With millennials being about twice as likely to take healthcare advice they find online, it also makes sense that they would make social media their go-to resource for finding healthcare providers. Millennials tend to trust the recommendations they receive from other patients online, and they are particularly comfortable with sharing information about symptoms and ongoing illnesses publicly.
They value day-to-day health maintenance.
Compared to older generations, millennials also tend to have a broader perspective of what affects their health. Rather than focusing on regular exams and appointments, they focus more on everyday health choices that will contribute to better health in the long-term. This is especially true now as millennials are the first to adopt new health technologies such as fitness trackers and mobile health apps.